My father died three years ago. I know he died because I was in the hospital room with him as he died. I was at the funeral and even arranged for his ashes to be contained in a Mason Jar. My father loved canning vegetables and had amassed quiet a few cases of the jars. He was also cheap and so it seemed like the logical thing to do. I don’t know if he would have approved, I think he would but I could never really tell with some things. The rest of the family got a few laughs out of it so it was worth the odd stares from the funeral director and the priest who presided over his funeral.
That isn’t what we are here for today.
When my father died none of his affairs were in order. He wasn’t planning on dying, ever, so there was no need, in his mind at least, to get things together.
For weeks following his death we went about changing all of his accounts that were to remain in use, to my mother. If you have ever been through this process you know that a death certificate is necessary to cancel cell phone accounts, cable, bank accounts and anything else that needs to be changed or stopped.
Only weeks before my father died he bought a new car and he changed his cable service to Direct TV. He bought the car because he was one of those people who bought a new car every three years. He switched to Direct TV because he wanted to get a new remote and the Direct TV replacement remote control was the selling point that worked for him.
In addition to getting the new service at his home he also signed up for it at the cabin. And then he died.
Six months after his death we decided it would be best to sell the house. Because we were selling the house we were able to easily cancel the account however that was not to be the case at the cabin. Not for the lack of trying however.
My brother and I didn’t think it was necessary to have TV, or cable, at the cabin. If we are up there we ought to be outside and the kids should too. Given the opportunity the kids will spend the weekend in front of the TV rather than on the lake breathing in fresh air. So we tried to cancel it.
We submitted the death certificate and assumed all would be resolved. Not.
We were not able to cancel the agreement. At this point in time, three years later, I don’t even remember why but we were able to change the package to the lowest possible cost. This fall however we decided to shut the cabin down for the winter since we knew no one would be going there. I called the Direct TV people and asked them to put it on their vacation plan.
Of course they had to verify who I was. I am not my father but I have since learned that his death means nothing to them, they don’t care that we sent in his death certificate numerous times. Somewhere, and not only at Direct TV but on several other accounts as well, the certificate was lost or misplaced or honestly I don’t know what. I suppose we could have stopped paying the bill but that would have pissed off my father. So I told them I was him. Luckily my father had one of those names that could go either way, much like he did for a while.
Since I have learned this handy trick it has made my life much easier. I don’t have to talk to fifteen different people, who don’t usually speak English as a first language, and I don’t have to keep sending him his death certificate.
My father also purchased several time shares in Mexico. Again, we sent in the death certificate but to no avail. We continue to use the time shares so the name problem is not such an issue since my brother is named after my father. He can honestly say that he is named the same name as my father, and he can produce identification when necessary.
Why am I telling you this? I really don’t know, I guess to share with you what a pain it can be when someone dies and when I have little to write about.
Jen, I HATE it when this happens. It’s like you just cannot get there from here no matter what you do.
Mason jar? Yeah, that works. Uh huh.
.-= Linda Medrano´s last blog ..Here’s Your Sign =-.
Mason jar…that is AWESOME!!!
My dad died when I was 8…20+ years ago. My mom STILL gets calls for him!!!! Sheesh.
.-= megscole64´s last blog ..Great Analogy =-.
Linda: After three years we pretty much gave up. But we need the time shares and we have a commitment for life to the cable co. It sucks. Thanks dad, that’s why you’re in a mason jar.
Meg: It was surreal when he died, using a mason jar added some much needed levity to the whole thing. He never expected anyone to hang around his grave and he did insist on being cremated. He also thought it was wasteful to buy an expensive container only to bury it. We still have some of his ashes in a smaller Ball jar which we keep meaning to spread at the cabin but no one has gotten around to it yet.
“Luckily my father had one of those names that could go either way, much like he did for a while.”
He-he-he-ha-hahahahahaahhahah!!! – too much!!
.-= Sheila Sultani´s last blog ..No Surprise Here, Another Charity Under Fire =-.
I remember what a bitch it was when my grandpa died. Contacting/calling companies. It was a nightmare!
.-= Laura´s last blog ..“Ðrive” Me Crazy Part 2 – Dumb and Dumber Strike Again =-.
I have a friend whose WIFE passed away last year and then he got a notice from the credit report people that HE was dead. And he was trying to get a mortgage at the time. Oh boy!
.-= AmyLK´s last blog ..Boy am I GRATEFUL! =-.
My Dad died in 1995. He would be 96 if alive. And I still get mail asking him to buy life insurance.
.-= Chris Casey´s last blog ..A Visitor this Morning =-.
My Mom, God Bless Her, passed away over three years ago. And yes, my Dad still gets mail for her and bills for accounts that were closed and death certificates sent.
And when I closed my DirecTV account before moving to the Philippines, thank God I got a rep that worked in a Philippines call center, and I could understand them (I’ve been married to a Filipina for ten years and still don’t always understand her.) I got charged over 400 bucks after being told I would have no charges but five phone calls later it got straightened out.
.-= Dave DeWall´s last blog ..Two Med Techs, One Doctor, No Blood! =-.
My dad died unexpectedly more than 20 years ago. Ever since, I have off and on nagged my mom about what will happen when she dies… which is probably many years off. What name do you want on your tombstone (she is remarried)? Who should I give pieces of your jewelry to? I probably drive her crazy with my morbidness, but sudden death teaches us to see things differently.
.-= WaistingTime´s last blog ..Is Food a 4-Letter Thought? =-.
No matter how organized, and how little someone uses services, things always screw up when someone dies, and the worst part is there is no “What to do when your parent-or-close-relative dies” manual. My mother died a little over a year ago, and she had pretty much everything in order, except for one troublesome bank account that had to go to probate (the money is now safely with my dad… where it should be. Minus the lawyer’s fees). Although dad is still around, she took care of the finances, and it has been up to me to handle everything and… What.A.Pain.In.The.Ass! Even though (nearly) everything was in order, I’ve had to jump through all manner of hoops, begging for “Gold Medallion” or somesuch signatures from my stupid bank, who I’ve been with for years, but who needed a few dozen forms of ID from me to prove 1) I was me and 2) my mother was actually dead and my mother. My mother and I were never close and had some never-possible-to-be-resolved issues, and I have never been gladder about that than in the past year – I can only imagine what it would be like to have gone through what I did this past year AND be grief-stricken!
And of course it’s not done yet… there’s still tax stuff to do!
.-= Janiss´s last blog ..Protected: Sparkle’s Downloadable Calendar: March 2010 =-.
Oh dear. My FIL just passed away and my husband is in the process of trying to help his mother settle accounts. Ugh. They do not make it easy. I hope that we are not still fighting these battles three years from now.
I guess having the time share is nice, though.
PS I love that used the Mason Jar, it seems a good reflection of the person he was.
I am terribly sorry for your loss. I dont know what I will do when my father passes away.
I helped my cousin deal with his parents affairs after both of them died within a six week span and it was truly a nightmare.
.-= meleah rebeccah´s last blog ..Honest Scrap =-.
I’ve started early with this. I have impersonated my living parents and co-workers for various things like cell phone troubleshooting, cable and IT support. As long as they have the right name and a warm body, they’re doing their job.
And hopefully all these companies won’t switch to Skype or they’ll see that “Tom” is an Asian woman who looks amazing for 75 and needs to take a shower…
.-= Sasha´s last blog ..I Like You Very Much…Just As You Are =-.
My mom died 9 years ago and she still gets mail at my house. The American Heart Association actually sent her a package last year, thanking her for agreeing to contact her neighbors to solicit for them. If they are really talking to her, I have a couple of questions.
.-= Anne´s last blog ..What the Hell, Maybe Not =-.